“It just takes an empty butter tub, some fishing line and a few pieces of wood to make an authentic-sounding ukulele, as Year 4 pupils found out on Thursday 7th November. In a workshop led by three Hawaiian-shirted helpers from the Utterly Butterly Ukulele project – ‘Prof’, ‘Toff’ and ‘Nutter’, the children made their own instruments from entirely recycled materials, tuned them and customised them, before spending some time learning how to play some useful chords. By the afternoon, they were ready to perform live in front of an audience in the main school hall.
Familiar songs such as ‘In the Jungle’ were played alongside specially-composed numbers including ‘The Utterly Butterly Ukulele Song’ and ‘Blow Your Bubble,’ which had the ukulele-players singing and strumming away happily while the audience clapped them along. Another performance of the hand-made ukuleles can be expected at the End of Term concert.” Dragon School, Oxford
“Just to say a huge thank you both for a fantastic and wonderful experience! The kids are bringing back their Ukes to play in the music sessions, and from what I have heard from parents, some kids are now asking for music lessons. This is the ideal outcome for me, so I am more than delighted. The staff too are taking their Ukes to their other places of work. It’s amazing how far one workshop can reach. I hope we were rewarding as an audience as we very much appreciated all the effort you went to, with the making the wooden necks, the drive down and all that lugging up and down the stairs. We loved the way you put the workshop together format-wise, how you engaged the children from beginning to end, and especially, giving the younger ones the chance to do some proper grown up making! They were buzzing!” Holiday Academy
“Thanks guys – just had a wonderful workshop from you in Bournemouth library. A rare treat that educates and entertains all ages at once.” Phil Fortin
“What a brilliant day, having great fun with my ukelele – my nan came to the performance and it was the best thing we’ve done at school ever.” Jack
“Well lads, what an eventful few days the children at Otterham CP School have had with you. Not only did we have the pleasure of making ukuleles, but to be able to perform in front of Prince Charles at Dairycrest, Davidstow was truly amazing! You were really fantastic with the children and a great bunch to work with.” Claire Butter
“Thank you for giving the children at Stourfield Jnrs such a fantastic week. The concert on friday was fab and my son has said it was one of his favourite school experiences. The ukelele has pride of place at home – only downside is I can’t get the song out of my head – Brilliant” Kerry Watkins
‘I first met the Utterly Butterly Ukulele Project at a rather surreal Chinese meal in Manchester at the Music Learning Live Conference 2010. On one side sat National Music Participation Tsar, Dick Hallam. On the other, were Steve and Mark from TUBUP, with ukuleles proudly twanged alongside the chicken with black bean sauce. It was the start of a beautiful partnership.
We got talking and I was impressed how authentic a ukulele made from a small plastic margarine tub and fishing line can sound. I thought it would be a perfect, inclusive project for SoundStorm, our Music Education Agency, a perfect combination of practical basic construction work and music skills. TUBUP came down and did a couple of trial days in local primary schools. They went down a storm. A random bloke even offered me £5 in a pub for my TUBUP uke.
Since then, we haven’t looked back. Over 2000 ukes have been constructed. They’ve visited 20 schools and led CPD for 60 teachers. It’s a perfect project for enthusing young people with music and every child takes home a unique, decorated utterly butterly uke. Schools book them year on year and they are important partners on our Music Hub.
If you want to bring something unique to your music hub, and enthuse hundreds of young people at the same time, I can’t recommend TUBUP highly enough. It’s a thoroughly unique and satisfying project” Dan Somogyi, Director, SoundStorm Music Education Agency / Wave Arts Education Agency, Bournemouth and Poole
“The children had a fantastic time making and playing their Ukuleles made out of a margarine tub!. They will be taking them with them to the Food and Farming Day on 5th July at the big concert at the East of England Showground. we look forward to hearing that!”. Charlotte Krzanicki, Deputy Head (primary)
“What a blast. You were a sensation and Blaby is still ringing to the sound of Ukuleles. One little girl insisted on taking hers back to playgroup on Monday, for show and tell. Mum said it hadn’t left her sight since making it on Saturday morning. A duet was heard in Waitrose, which confused the shoppers somewhat. Many thanks, look forward to working with you again”. Ian, Active Arts